Is newly minted Libertarian Gary Johnson an antiwar candidate or just a cheap hawk? The Daily Caller tries to pin him down.
While Johnson positions himself as a strong anti-war candidate who wants to cut the defense budget by 43 percent, he told TheDC that he supports America’s efforts to aid African troops in tracking down Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and that he wouldn’t rule out leaving behind American bases in Afghanistan.
Johnson said that while he wants to end the war in Afghanistan, that doesn’t mean he would necessarily stop drone attacks against terrorists in Pakistan or Yemen, even though he believes they create more enemies than they kill.
Johnson was relatively dovish on Iran but repeated his openness to humanitarian interventions abroad: “I don’t want to close the door that if any of us were president of the United States that we would sit idly by and watch something like the Holocaust go down.” Johnson also signaled that some presence in the Middle East might be necessary.
Now, there is nothing wrong with being selective in the use of military force. Being involved everywhere or nowhere may be consistent, but it isn’t necessarily a sound foreign policy. Yet it is difficult to discern an overarching strategy or philosophy here that would influence or dictate when the United States would intervene. Back when Johnson was still running as a Republican, I noted that he was at a disadvantage against Ron Paul because he was less conservative on social issues and less radical on the issues of war and peace that drive Paul’s libertarian base.